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Christianson v. NDDOT

Docket No. 20200114
Oral Argument: Wednesday, September 23, 2020 2:45 PM

Docket Info

Title
Kyle Al Christianson, Appellant
v.
Director, Department of Transportation, Appellee
Case Type
CIVIL APPEAL : TRANSPORTATION DEPT.
Appeal From
Case No. 2019-CV-03207
South Central Judicial District, Burleigh County
Douglas Alan Bahr
Oral Argument 9/23/2020

Parties' Statement of Issues

  • Appellant

    I. The Department lacks authority and jurisdiction to suspend and disqualify Mr. Christianson’s non-commercial and commercial driving privileges because Mr. Christianson’s Canadian conviction is not an equivalent offense to N.D.C.C. § 39-08-01.
    II. The hearing officer violated the Administrative Agencies Practice Act by failing to provide a fair and impartial hearing under N.D.C.C. § 28-32-31(1).
    III. The conviction received by the Department was not from a recognized foreign state under North Dakota law because “CAN” is not a province within the country of Canada.
    IV. The hearing officer failed to comply with N.D.C.C. § 39-06-33 when he failed to hold Mr. Christianson’s administrative hearing in Mountrail County.
    V. The hearing officer erred in admitting Exhibit 1 because it is hearsay and is not authentic.
    VI. Mr. Christianson was denied due process during his criminal proceedings in Canada.
    VII. Mr. Christianson is entitled to reasonable attorney fees and costs.

  • Appellee 1

    1. Whether Christianson’s criminal conviction from the province of Saskatchewan, Canada, met the requirements of N.D.C.C. §§ 39-06-27, 39-06.1-10, and 39-06.2-10(8).
    2. Whether Christianson waived his statutory right to a hearing in his county of residence by agreeing to a hearing by telephone.
    3. Whether Christianson was denied due process during the administrative hearing and whether the hearing officer provided Christianson with a fair and impartial hearing.
    4. Whether the conviction record received by the Department came from a recognized foreign jurisdiction under N.D.C.C. § 39-06-27 as defined in N.D.C.C. § 39-01-01(85).
    5. Whether the hearing officer properly admitted the Department’s regularly kept records comprising Exhibits 1 into evidence.
    6. Whether the Department had authority to suspend Christianson’s non-commercial driving privileges and disqualify his commercial driving privileges regardless of whether Christianson was denied due process during his criminal proceedings in Canada.
    7. Whether Christianson is entitled to an award of attorney fees and costs under N.D.C.C. § 28-32-50(1).


Summary

Kyle Al Christianson appeals from a district court judgment affirming a Department of Transportation hearing officer’s decision disqualifying and suspending his driving privileges indefinitely until Christianson complied with all reinstatement requirements.

Christianson was arrested in Canada for operating a conveyance while his ability to operate it was impaired by alcohol. A notice was issued, and Christianson requested a hearing. During the hearing, the Canadian ordinance was admitted on Christianson’s offer. Several documents related to the hearing, Christianson’s driving record, and the Canadian charges were admitted over Christianson’s objection. The hearing officer found that the Canadian and North Dakota statutes were equivalent; that the documents objected to were regularly kept records; the agreement to participate in a telephonic hearing waived the location requirement for the hearing; a reasonable inference would be that the term “CAN” as found in the information from Canada refers to the province of Saskatchewan, Canada; that it is irrelevant if Christianson received due process and a fair hearing in Canada; that the Department’s actions in this case were not unreasonable and that the process applied was appropriate; and that the proposed suspension was in accordance with the North Dakota Century Code. Christianson appealed to the district court, which affirmed the hearing officer’s decision. Judgment was entered.

On appeal, Christianson argues that the hearing officer erred on all these findings and conclusions. Further, Christianson argues that the hearing officer acted without substantial justification and as such Christianson is entitled to reasonable attorney’s fees and costs.


Briefs

Filing Date Description
05/10/2020 APPELLANT BRIEF View
06/09/2020 APPELLEE BRIEF View
06/23/2020 REPLY BRIEF View

Counsel

Party Type Name
APPELLANT PRIVATE PRACTICE Adam Justinger - 08635
APPELLEE ATT. GENERAL OFFICE Michael Trent Pitcher - 06369

(Note: Attachments may not be available for recently filed cases and/or confidential documents.)

Seq. # Filing Date Description Attachment
1 03/31/2020 NOTICE OF APPEAL : 03/31/2020
2 04/06/2020 Rec'd the $125.00 filing fee (Receipt #27559)
3 04/07/2020 NOT. OF FILING NOT. OF APPEAL AND PROOF OF SERV.
4 04/07/2020 Notice served on Adam Justinger and Michael T. Pitcher
5 04/07/2020 1st Administrative Transcript dated 8-27-19 (CDL Suspension)
6 04/07/2020 2nd Administrative Transcript dated 8-27-19 (Disqualification of the Driving Privileges)
7 05/05/2020 ELEC. RECORD ON APPEAL DATED MAY 4, 2020 (ENTRY NOS. 1-48)
8 05/10/2020 APPELLANT BRIEF View
9 05/10/2020 APPELLANT APPENDIX
10 05/10/2020 Oral Argument Request by Appellant
11 05/12/2020 Rec'd 5 copies of ATB & ATA from CSD
12 06/09/2020 APPELLEE BRIEF View
13 06/09/2020 Oral Argument Request by Appellee
14 06/10/2020 Rec'd 5 copies of AEB from CSD
15 06/23/2020 REPLY BRIEF View
16 06/25/2020 Rec'd 5 copies of RYB from Central Duplicating
17 08/13/2020 NOTICE OF ORAL ARGUMENT SENT
18 09/23/2020 APPEARANCES: Adam Justinger; Michael T. Pitcher
19 09/23/2020 ARGUED: Adam Justinger; Michael T. Pitcher
20 09/23/2020 ORAL ARGUMENT WEBCAST